Gambling policy Part B

Betting premises

Betting machines

This licensing authority will, in accordance with the Gambling Commission’s Guidance to Licensing Authorities take into account the size of the premises, the number of counter positions available for person-to-person transactions, and the ability of staff to monitor the use of the machines by children and young persons (it is an offence for those under 18 to bet) or by vulnerable people, when considering the number/nature/circumstances of betting machines an operator wants to offer.

The Gambling Commission has placed restrictions and requirements on Operating Licences for betting premises as regards credit, which are contained in its Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

A failure to comply with a Code of Practice does not make a person liable to criminal or civil proceedings but a code shall be admissible in evidence and will be taken into account. However, the Gambling Commission’s Social Responsibility Code of Practice is incorporated as an operating licence condition so that breach may carry criminal consequences.



The Council is aware that tracks (sites where races or other sporting events take place) are also recognised as multi- purpose venues having a wide range of facilities that enable them to host various other activities. Premises licences in relation to tracks differ from other types of premises licence in a number of ways. Most importantly, the applicant for the licence need not hold an operating licence from the commission. Tracks may be subject to one or more premises licences, provided each licence relates to specified area of the track.

In accordance with the Commission’s Guidance, the Council will especially consider the impact upon the third licensing objective (i.e. the protection of children and vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling) and the need to ensure that entrances to each type of premises are distinct and that children are excluded from gambling areas where they are not permitted to enter.

The Council will expect the premises licence applicant to demonstrate suitable measures to ensure that children do not have access to adult only gaming facilities. It is noted that children and young persons are allowed to be present on the track while a sporting event is taking place on those licensed premises, but that they are still prevented from playing gaming machines (other than category D machines).

The Council may consider measures, where necessary to meet the licensing objectives, including but not limited to:

  • proof of age schemes (for example, PASS accredited schemes such as Validate)
  • CCTV Page 29 of 46 Page 29 of 46  supervision of entrances and/or gaming machine areas
  • physical separation of areas
  • location of entry
  • notices/signage
  • specific opening hours
  • self-exclusion schemes
  • provision of information leaflets and/or helpline telephone numbers for organisations such as GamCare

The Council is of the view that it would be preferable for all self-contained premises at a track operated by a betting operator to be subject to a separate premises licence. This would ensure clarity between the responsibilities of the track operator and the individual betting operators on the track.

The Council will attach a condition to track betting premises licences requiring the track operator to ensure that the betting rules are predominately displayed in or near each betting area, or that other measures are taken to ensure that they are made available to the public such as being printed in the race card.

Gaming machines

Where the applicant holds a pool betting operating licence and is going to use the entitlement to four gaming machines, machines (other than category D machines) should be located in areas from which children are excluded.

Self-service betting terminals (SSBT’s)

The Council is aware that licensed operators may install SSBT’s on tracks. There is no restriction on the number of SSBT’s that may be in use but operators must supervise such terminals to prevent them being used by those under 18 years of age.

Applications and plans

The Act requires applicants to submit plans of the premises with their application, in order to ensure that the Council has the necessary information to make an informed judgement about whether the premises are fit for gambling. The plan will also be used for the Council to plan future premises inspection activity. Plans for tracks do not need to be in a particular scale, but the Council requires them to be drawn to scale and should be sufficiently detailed to include the information required by Regulations.

Some tracks may be situated on agricultural land where the perimeter is not defined by virtue of an outer wall or fence, such as point-to-point racetracks. In such instances, where an entry fee is levied, track premises licence holders may erect temporary structures to restrict access to premises. In the rare cases where the outer perimeter cannot be defined, it is likely that the track in question will not be designed for the frequent holding of sporting events or races. In such cases, betting facilities may be better provided through occasional use notices where the boundary of the premises does not need to be defined. 

The Council appreciates that it is sometimes difficult to define the precise location of betting areas on tracks. The precise location of where betting facilities are provided is not required to be shown on track plans, both by virtue of the fact that betting is permitted anywhere on the premises and because of the difficulties associated with pinpointing exact locations for some types of track. Applicants should provide sufficient information so that the Council can satisfy itself that the plan indicates the main areas where betting might take place.